Is your home prepared for the cold season? |

Is your home prepared for the cold season?

Steve Bohler
Special to the NNBW
Steve Bohler

It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t done it already, now is a great time to prepare for the upcoming cold months of winter. Preventative maintenance really pays off when it comes to winter preparation. Property damage caused from the cold and ice can be costly.

Therefore, here are a few steps to get you started:

Check Windows and Doors for Drafts

Inspect all of your windows and doors for cold air that may be seeping in, and install weather stripping or caulk, if needed. Switch-out your screen doors for glass.

Heating and Ventilation

Switch ceiling fans to the clockwise position which will help blow the warm air downward and will help with enhanced energy efficiency. Remove window air conditioning units and make sure window seal is tight. Flush the hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve. Also, check to make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.

Clean Your Gutters

Make sure your gutters are cleaned because if they are clogged with leaves and debris, they are more apt to freeze and cause blockages. Also, blocked gutters can allow melting ice and snow to seep into your roof or flood your home’s foundation.

Close Down the Deck and Patio

Cover the patio furniture or better yet store it inside. Shut down the sprinkler system and drain the hoses and place in the garage. Also, empty ceramic pots and store them inside so they do not crack in the freezing temperatures.

Call the Chimney Sweep

A dirty chimney can affect air quality and also become a fire hazard. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Keep in the mind, the more you use it, the more likely you need to have it cleaned. Typically, the cost to have a chimney serviced ranges between $125 and $200.

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Winter temperatures in Northern Nevada can vary greatly. Therefore, it is best to be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. Make sure your snowblower is in working order before the snow starts to fly; and have a good shovel ready to go and plenty of snow melt.

Additionally, a portable generator is a great investment. Also, check your emergency kit for flashlights, fresh batteries, snacks and water.

For more homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, contact the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors at 775-885-7200 or

Steve Bohler is president of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors. Back in 2003, he opened his own real estate agency, Pinion Pines Realty, in Wellington, Nevada. Feel free to contact Steve at or 775-465-2653.